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FMT(1) OpenBSD Reference Manual FMT(1)
fmt - simple text formatter
fmt [-cmps] [-d chars] [-l num] [-t num] [goal [maximum]] [name ...]
fmt is a simple text formatter which reads the concatenation of input
files (or standard input if none are given) and produces on standard out-
put a version of its input with lines as close to the goal length as pos-
sible without exceeding the maximum. The goal length defaults to 65 and
the maximum to 10 more than the goal length. The spacing at the begin-
ning of the input lines is preserved in the output, as are blank lines
and interword spacing.
The following options are available:
-c Center the text, line by line. In this case, most of the other
options are ignored; no splitting or joining of lines is done.
-m Try to format mail header lines contained in the input sensibly.
-p Allow indented paragraphs. Without the -p flag, any change in the
amount of whitespace at the start of a line results in a new
paragraph being begun.
-s Collapse whitespace inside lines, so that multiple whitespace
characters are turned into a single space. (Or, at the end of a
sentence, a double space.)
Treat the chars (and no others) as sentence-ending characters. By
default the sentence-ending characters are full stop, question
mark and exclamation mark. Remember that some characters may need
to be escaped to protect them from your shell.
Replace multiple spaces with tabs at the start of each output
line, if possible. number spaces will be replaced with one tab.
Assume that the input files' tabs assume number spaces per tab
stop. The default is 8.
fmt is meant to format mail messages prior to sending, but may also be
useful for other simple tasks. For instance, within visual mode of the
ex(1) editor (e.g., vi(1)) the command
will reformat a paragraph, evening the lines.
An fmt command appeared in 3BSD.
The version described herein is a complete rewrite and appeared in OpenB-
The program was designed to be simple and fast - for more complex opera-
tions, the standard text processors are likely to be more appropriate.
When the first line of an indented paragraph is very long (more than
about twice the goal length), the indentation in the output can be wrong.
fmt is not infallible in guessing what lines are mail headers and what
lines are not.
OpenBSD 2.6 June 6, 1993 2
Source: OpenBSD 2.6 man pages. Copyright: Portions are copyrighted by BERKELEY
SOFTWARE DESIGN, INC., The Regents of the University of California, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Free Software Foundation, FreeBSD Inc., and others.
(Corrections, notes, and links courtesy of RocketAware.com)
FreeBSD Sources for fmt(1)
OpenBSD sources for fmt(1)
Up to: Text File Output - Methods of printing and displaying text files.
Up to: File Viewers - Viewing the contents of files in various forms.
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